This is new and unfamiliar to all of us. We have never experienced a global pandemic before. Public responses range from one end of the spectrum of not caring at all to the doomsday prepper's who have been waiting for this day their entire lives. Ignorance to complacency, to common sense & preparedness, to out-right fear, panic and greed. All of it wrapped up with a huge bow of unknowing for all of us.
I feel, for the most part, that we are all experiencing stages of emotion created by the crisis. Similar to the stages of grief, our stages start out in denial, but they won't follow the same order because they will fluctuate. Nothing is concrete in our lives right now and our emotions are telling that tale.
Denial & Complacency
We can't believe this is happening. It only happens in other Countries, not to us! It won't touch us, we will be fine.
See, people are still shopping, even after the warnings to stay home...if they are then they aren't afraid so there is nothing to be afraid of. Our Prime Minister hasn't shut down the Country so it probably isn't as bad as people are saying. Let's just wait and see....
An invisible deadly virus is in our Country! Holy F@$!! People are dying! I fear for my family, my children, myself, my country, my world. Food supply is being drained by hoarders! North America has gone insane stock-piling toilet paper. The news scares the shit out of me. What does the future hold for us?
Stress - Isolation
Day one: We can do this! It is what is best to be safe and keep others safe too!
Day ten: When the FUCK is this going to be over?!!
Wash your hands! With Soap! Hands are dry and chapped. Don't touch that! No more sanitizer left! The virus is living for hours outside of our bodies?! Cardboard and plastic bags, metal? Whaaat?!!! You coughed? Get away from me!!
How much do we have? Do we have enough? How long will it last us? What if the stores close? Don't eat that! Save it! No, you can't have that. (to kids). Teaching your kids what rationing means but not wanting them to be fearful. We are out of (fill in the blank)!
Communities are coming together to support the elderly and vulnerable! Requests to replenish the food banks have been posted on social media feeds. Children are drawing support pictures and putting them in their windows to encourage all who are out walking now. Italy is singing. Spring is coming! This virus will end soon! It has too! The world is a beautiful place! Look how the waters and skies are clearing up in China and Italy! I am grateful for my life.
I need a break from my family. Petty arguments are arising. Stupid and selfish people are hoarding food, not staying home, I have vulnerable and/or immune suppressed family members. I want to go to a store! I want the world to be normal again! I am tired of being afraid. Stupid Government. Why is no one listening! I don't know what to think or who to believe.
What about money? What is happening to the economy? Is there going to be another recession, depression? I pray my family doesn't get the virus. What if we have already been exposed?
I feel so bad for everyone suffering in the world. What has this world come to?
Ah, the jokes! Comic relief is fantastic! Laughter boosts the immune system. I can't believe all the toilet paper jokes! Baby boom in 9 months and the Coronials will be the next generation! Quarantini martini! Hee hee hee!
Going within. Priorities are shifting. My list of things important in my life have re-arranged. Where will we be in 6 months from now? What do I want to do with my time? How can I help myself stay mentally healthy? How can I contribute to help the world in this crisis?
So, you may have felt a variety of these emotions. You may be feeling really overwhelmed. What can you do?
Ride the wave
Set your mind to know that you will be feeling a variety of different emotions and allow yourself to feel them, but do not dwell too deeply in the negative ones. Take a breath and distract yourself.
Rest when you are tired. Drink plenty of water. Exercise. Take a mind-break and get lost in a book or a really good movie. Get some fresh air. Stand in the sunlight.
Online, on the phone, in text and email. Talk to your neighbours through the fences. Join online groups that match your interests. Join a walking group or a walking line since we have to have distance between everyone.
If you are having difficulty with how you are feeling or coping, reach out to a friend, or seek out online support.
Lend a hand to someone in need. Make a delivery to seniors or others who cannot leave their homes. Send them notes of encouragement and leave them in their doors. Put up positive messages in your windows for your walking neighbours. Post supportive messages on your social media platforms. Tell your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them. Helping others warms your heart and lifts your own mood too.
Catch up on all the things you didn't have time for before. Hobbies, decluttering your home, that book you started to read or write, around the home fix-up jobs.
Take life one moment at a time. That's all we really have; one breath in and one breath out. Stay in the present moment as much as you can, and if your mind wanders to the uncertain future, visualize the happy ending you desire and hold it dearly in your heart.
With deep Love, Lisa